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Green Ways to Run Your Restaurant

– Contributed content –

Restaurant chef

(Pexels, Pixabay. https://pixabay.com/photos/restaurant-cooking-chef-kitchen-1284351/)

21 Apr. 2021. Many modern business owners opening restaurants are doing so with different considerations, as consumers become savvier about the impact of their choices.  One way this is true is meeting the need for healthier choices brought on by nutritional labeling. However, another concern that has always been clear is the potential and reality of waste in the restaurant industry. For those customers who want a more environmentally friendly option, here are ways you could adapt your own restaurant.

Choose products that can be reused

You want to make sure that you provide the most comfortable experience possible, and you want customers to feel like their experience is as hygienic and carefully prepared as best as possible. However, this doesn’t mean that you have to throw out everything that they use. For instance, you shouldn’t be relying entirely on disposable napkins, but should instead consider reusable restaurant napkins as shown at sites like https://centurylinen.com/reusable-or-disposable-napkins-and-table-linens/ that can be washed and served again, remaining just as hygienic but without the waste. You should also consider ways to make sure that certain products don’t have to be thrown out, such as by laminating your paper menus so that they don’t degrade or stain easily with use.

Ensure your food gets eaten as best as possible

One of the biggest causes of food waste is that the food has to be thrown out before it can be eaten. Simply put, this mostly comes down to not tracking expiration dates. Consider making use of restaurant inventory management tools like https://www.getbeyond.com/peachworks-restaurant-management-software/ that can help you track all the food that comes in, how it should be stored, whether it is being stored in the correct way, and when it is expected to expire. This way, when it comes to preparing dishes for the day, you can focus on the ingredients that would expire if you don’t use them and even get alerts when items are close to expiring.

What to do with food that you have to throw away?

The question of how restaurants handle food that isn’t eaten is one that stirs up a lot of high emotions. Many people would prefer that they give away all the food that they can, especially given high-profile stories of restaurants actively preventing people in need like the homeless from eating food that is being thrown out. You can donate the food that isn’t being eaten, but you do need to follow health and safety guidelines. You can’t give away food that has already been served, even if it hasn’t been touched, and you can’t throw away food that has expired, of course. However, you should consider making a partnership with a local charity to make sure they collect what food can be taken as soon as possible to avoid more from expiring.

As well as the actual food that is wasted, you should also consider the resources that are used in creating and preparing the food that you serve. One of those that see the most use of all in a wide range of restaurants is cooking oil. However, there are teams like https://gfcommodities.com/our-services/yellow-grease-uco-pickup/ that can help you by collecting all of your cooking waste and oil, including corn, canola, and soybean oil to recycle it in the most efficient manner possible. After all, cooking oil can be potentially be reused, you just need a team to co9llect it for you and to recycle it into products that can be used elsewhere.

Work with your suppliers as best as possible

You can’t dictate how green all of the processes leading to plating and serving the food are. For instance, you can’t make the farmers of the meat decide to run their farms sustainably. However, you may be able to influence it to some degree. For instance, when it comes to your suppliers, you can encourage them to use less packaging with their products, or ask if they provide reusable crates or recyclable packaging with their shipments. You can also see if there is any way they can reduce the carbon footprint of getting the food to your restaurant. It might mean, for instance, pay for them to take a more direct route to the restaurant, so these decisions must be made with care. Your own profitability still matters.

Clean your establishment with care

It’s not just how we use the resources at our disposal that affect the eco-friendliness of a restaurant. It’s also about the products that we use to care for it and how they might affect the environment around us. There are a lot of toxic cleaning products that have lingering impacts on the environment and can even affect the health of your team over a long time. The environmental costs of cleaning products can be surprisingly high. However, there are plenty of options that are more environmentally friendly, many of them bearing Green Seal labels or other indicators that they have been found to be less environmentally harmful than many of the other options out there.

Mind your appliances

As well as the food that you store and cook, the equipment that you use to store and cook them are also going to impact the overall eco-friendliness of your restaurant. In particular, you need to look at the energy efficiency of your appliances. Make sure that they are being serviced at least once a year (or more, given how often they are used) to keep them free of malfunction as best as possible. If they’re beginning to cost more to repair than it would to replace them, then make sure you look at the most efficient options, highlighted at sites like https://ouc.bizenergyadvisor.com/article/commercial-kitchen-equipment.

Food and resource waste in catering and restaurant businesses has been a significant issue for a long time. However, as the points above prove, there is a lot that you can do to combat that with your own choices. You can’t eliminate waste 100%, but you can make sure that you minimize it as best as possible.

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